Elections Sask. says it's facing a shortage of workers at polling stations

·2 min read

Elections Saskatchewan says it is in need of more workers at voter polling stations, particularly in Saskatoon.

The Oct. 26 provincial election is just around the corner, and advance voting is already underway.

Michael Boda, the province's chief electoral officer, says that of the 14 constituencies in Saskatoon, nine are in need of more staff. The constituencies are operating at only 80 per cent staff at the moment.

"We're reaching out because Saskatoon has traditionally been a great place for supporting democratic processes in the province. We're really in need of some more workers," Boda said.

Boda says he thinks there are fewer people willing to work this election due to increased COVID-19 activity in Saskatoon. Some may be immunocompromised and feel they cannot work in the busy public setting this time around, he said.

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CBC

But he says the polls are safe for both voters and workers, and that barriers, personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 precautions are in place at each station.

All election officials are required to wear masks. All voters are encouraged to wear masks when voting in-person. Boda says some stations throughout the province may require voters to wear masks.

"We have had some traditional workers who may feel they can't work. But what I'm hoping for is that others will come forward and say, 'it's time that I really supported this democratic process.'"

Boda is urging young people in particular to help out. Legislation has recently changed so that Elections Saskatchewan can now have residents as young as 16 years old working as election officials.

Saskatchewan schools will be closed on election day. Boda says this is a great opportunity for students to participate, gain experience and get paid.

Anyone interested in working for Elections Saskatchewan can fill out a form on the agency's website.